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Out of mind

A dying man is depressed, so he gets prescribed anti-depressants. Is this absurd? A strong dose of belief might have the same effect

It was after the man in the bed next to him died, with a grisly rattling in the night, that Tyke Tierney began to decline. Before that, he’d been tirelessly cheerful and garrulous on the ward, even when told that his lung cancer was terminal and that he had, perhaps, no more than six months to live. The youngest of seven Belfast brothers, “Tyke” had got the name before his parents found time to think of anything else. That’s what he’d always been: the little guy everyone loved. His wife said he’d been behaving like a wee boy for 67…

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